Yesterday’s game between the Orioles and the Blue jays was stopped in the middle of the fifth inning for a Memorial Day moment of silence. Not even I object to the sentiment; the execution left something to be desired.
While everyone stood with hats off, a syrupy Josh Grobin tune was played over the PA system; flowing American flags were shown on the scoreboard. The point of a moment of silence is the silence. Does everything we do now require accompaniment?
I think the issue is PVGD: Post Vietnam Gratitude Disorder. There are a lot of people still around who remember how shamefully the returning Vietnam veterans were treated. These exhibitions of hyper-sentiment are a way to try to make up for that, exacerbated by the fact that, since the draft ended, most Americans do not serve. Those who had “other priorities” show they’re just as patriotic by wearing their gratitude on their sleeves. Just don’t ask them to pay increased taxes to better care for the returning wounded, or for improved survivor’s benefits, or putting proper armor on the Humvees.